The Cubs avoided an inevitable three-game sweep by the Houston Astros Wednesday, thanks to Mother Nature, who brought an onslaught of snow and sleet to the Chicago area. The game will most likely be rescheduled for July 12. The Cubs/Astros series in July, which takes place immediately following the All-Star break at Wrigley, will be a nice spring board for Houston to start the season’s second half on a four-game winning streak.

“Why lose three in a row early in the season when we can drop four consecutive games in July?” said catcher Michael Barrett. “At least I know my batting average won’t fall below .100 until Friday.”

Upon hearing of Wednesday’s cancellation, Cubs manager Lou Piniella loaded the team into a charter bus and took them sledding at a golf course in suburban Antioch to help acclimate his weather-challenged players to the semi-cold conditions.

“It’s like I’ve got 25 Mark Priors on this team,” said Piniella. “Something goes slightly awry, like a small drop in temperature, and these guys start making up every excuse in the book.”

Closer Ryan Dempster, who hails from Canada where it often snows year-round, found himself right in his element.

“I love playing in the snow; I was actually kind of warm,” said Dempster, a jokester who went sledding in nothing but his underwear and socks. “You should have seen Alfonso Soriano bundled up in three snow suits and four pairs of mittens. But I do give him credit, at least he came outside. Aramis wouldn’t even leave the bus.”

heckler editorial staff